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Shigeru Ban Creates Urban Oasis with Greenery

Swatchgroup

Just a quick little post on the new headquarters for Swatch Group Japan in the heart of Tokyo’s Ginza District.  The building was designed by Shigeru Ban and houses seven of Swatch’s luxury brands on each of the first seven floors.  Floors eight through thirteen are used as office space and the top floor as an event area.  You’ll notice the interior green wall, which, as Jean Snow describes it, has "so much greenery that you almost feel as if you’ve stepped into an urban oasis."  I think this represents another example of greenery permeating all aspects of design, both inside and out. 

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Mashup of Modern Topiary + Living Walls

Louis Vuitton Topiade

Gas Design Group designed this overlay facade, "Topiade", for an already existing Louis Vuitton store.  I think the name "Topiade" comes from a combo of the terms topiary and facade, which is pretty creative, if you ask me.  The idea of taking wild greenery and applying design and creativity through topiary is something I’ve seen personally in both Japan and Taiwan.  It appears to be popular in France, as well.  So when applied to the vertical context, the environmentalists get excited.  We like green roofs, living walls, and natural buildings. 

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Manifestation of Green in a Building

Ann Demeulemeester

The look of this building is incredible.  I’ve seen living walls and how the growth can devour structures, but I like the look here.  Asia is so moist, what with the rainy season in the summer, etc., that I’ve seen walls growing a sort of perma-algae.  So, I think the design here in Seoul, Korea works and I like how the windows break through the calm chaos of green. 

The Mass Studies-designed building houses an Ann Demeulemeester store on the first level and restaurant above.  The design relies on a trifecta of colors:  deep green, coffee brown, and minimalist white — all of which blend and dance nicely.  I’m not sure as to whether anything else is green (i.e., materials, systems, etc.), but nonetheless, I really like the manifestation of green. 

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